Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Raja Soon

Raja Soon

Even though we don’t have much in the way of “news” to report we thought it would be a good idea to let you know what we’ve been doing since our last entry, and before we leave Bali for the next two months.

Mostly we have continued to study the national language, Bahasa Indonesia. It’s relatively easy to learn if you speak the “street” version, but to speak proper, grammatically correct Bahasa the learning curve is quite steep. Basically the language consists of root words that morph into additional words with various meanings by the addition of prefixes and suffixes or a combination of both. A
single root word can be a verb, adjective, noun, or adverb depending on what combination of prefix or suffix is applied. For instance the root “study”, with various additions, becomes “learn” or “teach”, “teacher” or “student”, the “teaching” or “course of study”. Verbs change states, transitive to intransitive, passive to active all with the addition of a letter or two. For our “old” brains it’s been an uphill battle. Even though it’s challenging we are good students happily doing the homework assigned by our guru.

We are about to put what we’ve learned into practice. On August 25 we head to Raja Ampat(R4) to begin a month long private charter to document and discover new
dive sites. Since most of the crew will speak about as much English as we speak Bahasa we’ll need all we’ve learned and a whole lot more. By the time we write again we should be able to function without asking for the toilet when what we really need is a beer.

We are very excited that our “real” job is finally about to begin. Conservation
International has hired us to create a guidebook for R4, which has become “the” hot-spot diving destination within the last few years. More operators are moving into the area and one of our goals is to find new dive sites so that theliveaboards can spread out and also relieve pressure on the most popular sites . Our mission is to find as many new sites as possible during the next month.

We will return to Bali in late September but will only spend three nights here before boarding another boat, the Seven Seas, to assist Howard and Michele Hall with
their new 3DIMAX movie, Under the Sea 3D. It’s the sequel to their award winning Deep Sea 3D. Look for it at IMAX theaters in the late spring of ’09. We worked on the first shoot in PNG and will now work on the last, here in Indonesia. The plan is to head east from Bali. We’ll first stop in Komodo National Park before heading further east through the Alor region and on into the Banda Sea where Howard hopes to capture images of sea snakes. It will be another adventure we are sure.

We return to Bali in late October and at that time we will update the blog. It will be a long time without hearing from us, but rest assured we will have many stories to entertain you when we return.

Best Fishes,
Burt and Maurine

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